Best Friends Animal Society

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Best Friends Animal Society
Founded 1984
Founder Michael Mountain, et al
Focus Animal welfare, animal rights
Origins Foundation Faith of the Millennium;
Process Church of the Final Judgment
Key people
Gregory Castle, CEO & Cofounder
Slogan "No More Homeless Pets"
Website Best Friends

Best Friends Animal Society, founded in its present form in 1984, is an American nonprofit 501(c)(3) animal welfare organization. Best Friends works nationwide in outreach programs with shelters, other rescue groups and members to promote pet adoption, spay-and-neuter services, and humane education programs.[1]


What became known as the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary originated in Arizona in 1971,[2] developing from The Foundation Faith of the Millennium, a religious group formerly known as the Process Church of the Final Judgment.[3]

In 1991, the church was renamed Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, which became a tax-exempt, nonprofit charity, and in 2003 renamed Best Friends Animal Society.[4]

In August 2011, the City of Los Angeles handed over to Best Friends the operation and management of its Northeast Valley Shelter, which the city could no longer afford to operate. Under the contract, Best Friends is to provide adoptions for shelter animals and spay and neuter services for the community.[5][6]

The sanctuary[edit]

The Foundation church relocated animals from an Arizona ranch to the current sanctuary grounds in 1984, informally calling it "Best Friends," operating the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a large no-kill shelter[7] located in Southwestern Utah in Angel Canyon (formerly Kanab Canyon) near Kanab.[8]

The sanctuary is on 3,700 acres (15 km2) owned by Best Friends, with an additional 33,000 acres (130 km2) leased from the United States Bureau of Land Management near Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon's North Rim, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Lake Powell.

National Geographic Channel's DogTown series was filmed at the sanctuary,[9] where animals are housed.


The group also publishes Best Friends, a bimonthly magazine dedicated to animals, animal welfare, news events, and activities at the sanctuary. The magazine, according to the group's website, has 200,000 subscribers.[10]

Work after Hurricane Katrina (2005-2010)[edit]

Best Friends' official role in post-Hurricane Katrina operations was that of a primary animal rescue organization.[11]

Best Friends’ rapid response teams entered the hurricane disaster area on September 2, 2005 and worked 249 days in and around New Orleans.[12] Best Friends did not have a significant presence doing animal disaster rescue or recovery work prior to Hurricane Katrina.

Since Katrina, Best Friends has expanded its animal rescue work by providing the staff and resources to help a Pets Alive animal shelter in New York state, rescue approximately 800 cats from an institutional hoarding situation in Nevada,[13] and assist local animal rescue groups in the aftermath of the Peruvian earthquakes of 2007. Best Friends also took in some of former NFL quarterback Michael Vick's dogs.[14] In December 2008, Georgia, one of the former fighting dogs, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show with Best Friends' dog trainer John Garcia.[15] The two also appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" show.[16]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


External links[edit]